LOST CULTURE: Exclusive “Sticky Blood” Interview

Production outfit Sticky Blood consists of members Jamie Shield and former Arctic Monkey Andy Nicholson. Since setting up in Sheffield back in 2013, the two have combined their style and honed their skills over the past two years. They have worked with a number of talented artists in the time they have been active, including production on Terri Walker‘s 2015 album Entitled, which led to exposure by well known DJs Annie Mac and Gilles Peterson. They count fellow Sheffield resident Toddla T as a loyal fan and they plan on making a big impact in 2015. After releasing their highly successful track ‘Professional’, the duo came back with a bang with the release of their new track ‘I.D’. Switching it up with this grimy number, Sticky Blood start the pace slow and then launch a full big-beat assault, layered with a tight, lyrical flow from Ajay Carter. 

To celebrate their new track plus the release of their E.P I.D. out today, LOST CULTURE sat down with the duo to speak about their journey in music, their current outlook on the UK  music scene and their plans for the future.

1. How did you guys meet and when do you decide to make music as a duo?

We met through mutual friends and fortunate timings really. We were each dabbling in separate small projects and eventually time overlapped and it all just developed from there. It wasn’t a forced thing, very organic. The way we both are by nature wouldn’t have allowed us to still be working together 3 years down the line if it wasn’t the right thing. We never actually “decided” to make music together, we just met and started loading up sounds and showing each other tricks and that never stopped. That’s all we do now, except we have a platform to throw things from now.

2. What do you believe that you both bring to the table and how do you they compliment each other?

I think we have quite a lot of similar traits in our tastes. Both from similar background in the sense that we got our love for creating music through being in bands and gigging and recording etc But I guess in the studio we have our differences. Maybe Andy is more focused on the vibe where Jamie is more focused on the musicality.. but as we say that it instantly feels wrong because it is a forever changing thing. Sometimes it is Jamie bringing the vibe and Andy bringing the punch or Jamie focusing on the sonics and Andy steering the direction. There is no one set way.

3. How did the name Sticky Blood come about?

The name is a weird one. We had a friend who had a joke nickname around the studio that was “squidgy black”. God knows how that even came about. But one day he told us that this certain packet of sweets was supposed make your blood sticky… it gave you “Sticky Blood”… so we said that sounded like the name of Squidgy Blacks’ DJ or something, and then when we decided to give this production outfit a name and take it seriously. We were struggling with names, so we just used that because it gives us a five line paragraph to write about in interviews.

4. You have worked with many local Sheffield artists (Coco, Hecky, Clubs and Spades), what is the music scene like in the Steel City?

Yeah… Recently we have seen movements happening, so the scene is pretty healthy to be fair. The good thing about it is more people are getting them radio plays and more national attention is now on the artist’s we have believed in and worked with for years. So it is nice to see. There is Coco who is doing his thing right now with Toddla T, Clubs and Spades is ticking over and had some good stuff happen. Obviously Hekky has been working closely with us and he is on it right now, but there are a few more we have known for a while. So yeah, its pretty healthy and sounding really up to date and in some parts perhaps a little bit ahead… 

5. You first started combining your talents in 2013 , what has been your favourite track to date and why?

Well, on our hard drives are where our favourite potential tracks are. But they aren’t ready for the airwaves because we haven’t matched the right artists with the right music yet… That can actually be quite frustrating. That being said, it’s sometimes too easy to fall in love with some of your own stuff and people don’t always respond the way you expect. But our favourite track out that you could go and listen to right now…. Well Andy’s is “Bad Boy” by Terri Walker featuring Frisco which we did a little while back. Jamie’s is I.D because of the style of Production, the wonky, dark nature of it is something we always enjoy.

6. What is your usual process for producing a track?

I don’t think we have a go to formula.. Sometimes we might drift into a formula but unless it’s flawless we get sick of it pretty quick because everything can start to sound the same. Sometimes we start because we have been inspired by a track, or an Album.. or even a Soundcloud mix full of music we like. Other times we might just plug in some synths and load up some samples on the computer and just run into the dark with them and see what happens… that’s always fun.

7. Where is the best place you’ve performed live and why?

We performed as Clubs and Spades at a Sheffield Festival “Tramlines” on the main stage, which was good because it was a big crowd up the road from the room that all of the tracks we performed were made… and i think that there is something about that..

8. Your upcoming EP I.D is set for release on 14th August, what can people expect from this upcoming project?

I think they can expect the musical equivalent of a small stall at a crap car boot sale, that sells unique items that you would be happy to put on your mantelpiece. That might not be selling it well… but its certainly not a run of the mill thing. We had no set direction when making it.. we just chucked stuff at a wall and some of it stuck and some of it fell of and it didn’t all match but we liked it just as it was. It was fun. 

9 What’s next for you as a team and what have you got lined up in terms of material?

The next notable project that we are working on is down in London at Red Bull Studios. Its going to be pretty cool we think… We are bringing down some of the artists we have been working with consistently and doing a project together. People like Terri (Walker) and Tom (Prior) will be coming down. Also we are linking up with our old buddy Coco and bringing in Nottingham MC Snowy. Hey will be there too… a few more names will be passing through as well… But i don’t want to say their names in case they decide that they don’t want to turn up… We are the ultimate pessimists…. I challenge you to disappoint us.

10. Where should people go if they want to hear more of your music?

Well… People can follow us on Twitter @StickyBloodUk or visit out website at www.stickyblood.co.uk and that is where we will keep you mostly up to date. But hopefully people will end up hearing about it without us having to ram it down their throats.
Grab your copy of I.D. by Sticky Blood via iTunes here

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